Since its introduction, Google Analytics has been the most dominant tool. It can track around 200 metrics and can collect a huge number of data received as hits.
What do HITS mean?
A HIT refers to any kind of interaction between your website and a user. The interaction data is monitored by Google Analytics through attachment of a tracking code to website pages.
Now, when a tracking code is triggered, a ‘HIT’ is recorded and then sent to Google Analytics servers. They are sent in layers of information that’s sorted in a long list of parameters attached to a GIF image and then packed. Once received, Google Analytics servers analyze them and present the resultant output in reports.
HITS THAT GOOGLE ANALYTICS TRACK
Google Analytics tracks many types of hits from the ordinary to essential. Each hit is important in own way and each provides its own Google Analytic metrics.
A Google Analytics metric, PageViewHit, also called as a PageView, indicates the number of times your website is viewed by someone. They could either be viewing the whole of the website or parts of the website and areas within the website.
Your website could be viewed by anyone including repeat as well as unique & first-time visitors.
PageViewHit reveals what they like about your website, or what they do on your website. Additionally, it can disclose how popular a post or a page in the website is.
To know about the number of sessions per page, divide the number of pageviews by the number of unique pageviews.
· Give you the average number of times a particular page was viewed per session.
· Let you identify what factors that affects user-experience needs to be improved upon and can be done. It could be website loading speed or closing speed or such like factors that otherwise affect user-experience.
It is advisable to check the website pages for which the number of pageviews and the number of unique pageviews, are different. It could possibly indicate how many site visitors must have viewed the website page during a single session, which could either be two or three times.
This kind of statistics can confuse people. They do not indicate specific figures about the number of viewings during a session.
An event hit refers to a user-interaction (user performs an action with event tracking implemented. Following this, analytics tracking code sends data to Google Analytics for tracking. A good example is that of sharing video or image or an article. They are all events that register hits.
Similarly, downloading a file; or page scrolling; or loading of popups and light boxes; or clicking on a link or an image; or playing a video; or clicking on buttons and mouse movements; or logins and registrations, are all examples of event hits.
Barring page views, all of them are interactions. When they take place, Google Analytics instantly triggers a hit.
HOW THE TRACKING PROCESS WORKS?
Tracking process takes place when a user triggers the tracking code. On its part, the tracking code automatically sends data to Google Analytics which will record this activity and later provide statistical reports. The reports will contain specific activity data.
The collated data will help you understand
· What site visitors actually do on your website;
· How they interact with the content;
· What kind of content they like and do not like;
· Factors facilitate user-engagement; and many more
SOCIAL INTERACTION HIT
Also known as Social Network Interaction Hit, Social Interaction Hit refers to engagement initiated by a social network with your website. For instance, when a link on your website is clicked from Facebook by a site visitor, Google Analytics will record it as a social interaction hit.
Although they do not provide sufficient information, they
· Offer quality insights which can be combined with other data like events or pageviews. Like for instance, a website page (say, a landing page) containing many social interactions has a high bounce rate. This can be attributed to the fact that although site visitors are landing on the website page they are not able to find what they’re looking for.
· Facilitate tracking of interactions with ads. An example of this is a Facebook Ad Campaign. Social interaction hits recorded can be used to track the number of people who interact with the ad, either through clicking on it or sharing it. The data obtained can be leveraged to optimize ad campaigns.
· Measure how users often use social share buttons. Like for example, a LinkedIn Share, or a Google+1, or a Facebook Like, or even a tweet. The data collected can be leveraged to understand how users share information and whether they use your website in varied ways when compared to those who do not do that.
Aside from the above, Google Analytics provides a set of reports. The reports contain data of social interactions with your website’s content.
In Google Analytics, an e-commerce hit refers to a pageview that emanates from a purchase made online. Every interaction that is made on an ecommerce Page will be recorded as an ecommerce hit. For instance, when a customer buys an item into your ecommerce site’s shopping cart, a hit is recorded and sent through Google Analytics. The same will happen as well in the case of finalization of the actual purchase.
Ecommerce hit will help you to
· Gain insights into consumer behavior. Like for instance, which of your products are they buying; or which products are selling the most; or when consumers are most likely to buy.
· Understand which of your website pages are most likely to result in sales. This will help you TO track value of your marketing campaigns, that is, whether it is successful or not.
· Spot any potential issues with your site’s checkout process. The data gathered can be used to make needed improvements. This in turn will help drive more conversions.
In case, the data reveals the number of customers’ placing items into your site’s shopping art is higher than the number of actual purchases, then you get the message that something is wrong with your site. This will compel you to fix the problem.
The data obtained can also be used to make other needed changes. Like fine-tuning your ecommerce site’s elements to make them more engaging. This will help engage the customers better until they buy your products listed in the site.
An exception hit refers to a hit that’s recorded when an error or any unexpected event occurs in your website. This can happen in case of websites that undergo periodic changes. At times, such changes can result in unnoticeable errors.
When an error occurs, exception hit gives an outline of the error and informs whether such errors are fatal or not. This makes it easy to instantly spot out the error’s location, and undertake instant remedial steps. Else, your website could frequently experience issues and causes for the same not known.
Exception hit makes it possible to
· Track any issue that obstructs the functioning of your website. Like for instance, a video that fails to download properly.
· Spot out errors and its causes. This will help you to fix them quickly.
· Track down malicious activities on your website. There can be many factors responsible for such activities. In many cases, it is often unscrupulous characters trying to access your website in an unauthorized way. Exception hit will let you know the specific IP address of such shady characters. In turn, you can block such an address and prevent it from further accessing your site.
USER TIMING HIT
A user-timing hit is a hit that will let you measure the time a specific user action takes to happen on your website or app. The user-action can range from time taken to download a website page TO time taken to complete a purchase process on your website, and more. Simply put, it lets you know the time taken by each user to load your website and enter it.
Google Analytics will provide two reports -‘user-timing report’; and ‘speed suggestions report’, in milliseconds.
User-Timing Report will spell in detail the time taken by users to download your website and access it. Similarly, Speed Suggestions Report will let you know how to make your website pages load quicker. With the available data, you will also be able to analyze your website’s performance including buttons, images, videos, etc, contained in it. Based on the data obtained, you can undertake steps to improve site load speed, increase site traffic, and improve conversion rates.
Finally, though Google Analytics tracks several varied types of hits, the above six are the best among the hits it tracks. Each of the hits can be leveraged to track varied aspects of your website’s success.
Google Analytics provides not just answers to your every query but also provides valued suggestions to rectify issues revealed by the hits.
To get the best answers, make sure to experiment with different kinds of hits. This will let you know which hits works best for your website.